cover image Whatever Makes You Happy

Whatever Makes You Happy

William Sutcliffe. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, $23.95 (292pp) ISBN 978-1-59691-450-6

Three British mothers decide that it's time their 34-year-old sons start to act like mature grownups. And if their sons aren't going to get with the program on their own, it's high time for a little maternal nudging. Each son has problems: Daniel has just been through a bad breakup and can think of few things worse than his mother, Gillian, nagging him about his bachelor state; Paul, Helen's son, who reminds her of her first husband, has never come out to her even though she knows he's gay; Carol's son, Matt, seems stuck in a life as shallow and glossy as Balls!\x97the magazine he works for. The result is an excellent comic novel that interweaves the romance, humor and pathos of three complicated families. Though it at first appears to be a simple roast of overly interfering mothers, the novel reveals itself to be a story of every mother's desire to receive in return some small measure of the love they have given. (Apr.)